As the internet continually moves forward, it's easy to forget some of the lesser-used ways and needs people have when accessing the internet. Motorway Services Online has been designed to be as easily accessible as possible, and this page explains some of the features and might teach you a couple of things you didn't know.
Access keys are keyboard shortcuts which can make it easier to navigate around the site, and helping users who struggle with pointing-and-clicking. There's no need for you to remember all of them (I can't), but you might want to remember the ones you'll use most. Exactly how access keys can be used depends on the browser you are using: in Internet Explorer you need to press 'Alt', the key and 'Enter', in Firefox you need to press 'Alt', 'Shift' and the key. For help with other browsers you should consult the manual or a search engine.
These are the access keys for the main navigation links. Observant readers will be able to spot a pattern fairly quickly.
These keys will only be of interest to regular contributors to the site as they involve logging in or registering.
|Log In and Log Out||L|
|Your User Page||B|
|Your Talk Page||C|
|and see talk page||D|
|Memberlist and Edit Page||E|
|Private Messages and Watch Page||M|
|User Control Panel||U|
Other Useful Links
You aren't likely to regularly use many of these pages but the links are handy to have anyway.
|Ratings: Best and Worst||R|
|Top of Page||T|
|Jump to Content||J|
|Accessibility and Key||K|
And finally these access keys aren't very useful and bare absolutely no relation to their corresponding page, but I had some keys leftover:
|About the Site||I|
|Tell a Friend||Q|
|Print this Page||V|
|More Sharing Options||X|
|Post on Facebook||,|
With many links you can put your mouse over them to find out more about where the page goes and see the access key for yourself. Links to another website are always marked like so. Although it's tempting to force links to other websites to open in another window, this never happens, as that way the user can decide for themselves whether they want it to open in a new window or not: most people have the option of middle or control-clicking to open a link in a new tab.
For many years it was the norm to have websites designed around tables and frames. These weren't very flexible and would be a pain to use on a small screen and impossible to use on older browsers.
Motorway Services Online only uses tables where they're absolutely necessary. The site itself is designed with stylesheets, which can easily be disabled by old browsers or users who prefer the much simpler structure you get without one. AnyBrowser.com's SiteViewer has been used to test the site in various forms. It also avoids using fixed widths, which means that people with large screens shouldn't see excess white space and people with smaller screens shouldn't need to scroll horizontally.
The site works in Internet Explorer 8 - which is an achievement - provided compatibility mode is turned off.
Feedback and Faults
With an ever-increasing number of ways you can access and use the internet, it gets harder to ensure the site is working for everyone. For this I rely on your feedback: how are you viewing the site and have you found any problems? How can things be improved? Send me an electronic telegram!
There are of course some things which will be hard to use if you're not using a visual browser, the maps being a good example. These features are supplementary and the same information is provided in text form for people who cannot access (or fathom) the maps.
The site is tested thoroughly in Firefox 4 (which is recommended) and Internet Explorer 7.